Tag Archive for 'ATIA'

ARTBA Announces Schapker As New Vice President of Legislative Affairs

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) announced the hiring of Lauren Schapker as vice president of legislative affairs, a newly created position. She brings to the association nearly 15 years of experience in infrastructure policy issues.

As one of ARTBA’s primary advocates on Capitol Hill, Schapker will work with legislators and their staffs to boost federal transportation investment, secure a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue solution and advance other transportation construction industry priorities.

Schapker spent five years at the Portland Cement Association (PCA) beginning in 2009.  She led the organization’s transportation portfolio through the MAP-21 surface transportation law. She oversaw PCA’s grassroots and political efforts, both of which grew significantly under her leadership.

Schapker left PCA in 2014 to open the Washington, D.C., office of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). For nearly five years, she directed both legislative and regulatory portfolios on a range of infrastructure matters, increasing NGWA’s profile with key stakeholders and national media. She helped establish the nation’s first groundwater monitoring network, restore tax credits for renewable energy technologies and improve the regulatory climate for rural infrastructure projects.

Schapker began her career at the public affairs and government relations firm Xenophon Strategies, where she focused on transportation and infrastructure issues.  She represented cities, counties and school districts seeking federal assistance for infrastructure projects.  Her efforts helped secure funding in annual appropriations legislation and policy changes in surface transportation and water resources authorization bills. She also led Xenophon’s political fundraising.

A native of Cincinnati, Schapker has a B.S. in finance and an M.A. in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She and her husband reside in Alexandria, Va.

Established in 1902, ARTBA is the consensus voice of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry in the Nation’s Capital.

ARTBA Sends Grassroots Call-To-Acton Memorandum to Members

A bipartisan group of 21 U.S. Senators this week voted unanimously to reauthorize the federal highway and bridge program A YEAR EARLY and with the largest increase in core highway investment IN 15 YEARS.

The Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee July 30 approved “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act” (ATIA), S. 2302, which would set federal highway, bridge and highway safety investment and policy through 2025.

Read ARTBA’s analysis of ATIA for more details.

The magnitude of this first step cannot be overstated, but there is no time for a victory lap. We need to get to work.

Senators are in recess for the remainder of August and should hear from you that you support ATIA and want them to work to ensure the bill moves forward THIS YEAR.  Here’s what you can do:

  • Schedule a face-to-face meeting at the appropriate state office.
  • Invite your senators to your headquarters or job site so they can see first-hand the real-world economic, job creation, quality of life and safety impacts of transportation investment.
  • Send an email or tweet in support of the bill via ARTBA’s Grassroots Advocacy Center.
  • Attend a town hall meeting and ask your senators to permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund and support final action on ATIA this fall.

When you meet with your senators:   

  • Tell them the importance of action now to prevent the cycles of delay and uncertainty that have plagued previous reauthorization bills.
  • Ask them to support the call from EPW Committee Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) to pay for ATIA with highway user fee revenue.
  • Urge them to play a leadership role in final passage of Senate reauthorization bill this fall.

You can also complement these efforts in the Senate by also meeting with your House member:  

  • Encourage them to push their respective party’s leaders to begin advancing their version of a transportation reauthorization bill or infrastructure package this fall.
  • Remind them a user-based, permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund must be the foundation of any final proposal.

ARTBA staff is ready to help with your grassroots efforts. Please contact ARTBA Senior Vice President for Congressional Relations Dean Franks with questions or if you need assistance.

ARTBA Reports: Senate Committee Unanimously Advances Legislation to Increase Investment in Highway and Bridge Programs

By Lauren Schapker, vice president, legislative affairs, ARTBA

The Senate America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) Committee July 30 unanimously approved the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), legislation introduced July 29 by EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md).  If enacted, the measure would significantly increase funds for highway and bridge improvements from FY 2021 through FY 2025.

Chairman Barrasso addressed his colleagues at the markup stating, “the legislation, as modified by the substitute amendment by the four of us, will make an historic investment in our roads, cut Washington red tape, keep communities safe, and will help to continue to grow America’s economy.”

“The fact that a bill as significant as this one also happens to be bipartisan really should not come as a great surprise to anyone, because – in a greater sense – our nation’s transportation infrastructure helps bring all Americans together,” added Carper.

Investment in traditional core highway accounts would increase by 17 percent in FY 2021 over FAST Act reauthorization levels, and $259 billion would be distributed by formula to the states.   A substantial boost to freight improvements is also outlined in ATIA, providing $13.93 billion over five years for existing freight formula and discretionary grant programs.

A new discretionary grant program to improve the nation’s bridge conditions would invest $6.53 billion over five years, and funding for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program would continue at $300 million each year with expanded eligibility for airport and transit-oriented development projects, among other activities.

The measure also would codify President Trump’s “One Federal Decision” Executive Order, in an effort to accelerate project delivery by consolidating permitting decisions into one single environmental document set by a federal “lead” agency, with a goal of completing the environmental review process by an average two-year timeframe.

The EPW committee’s early action on the bill should be lauded, as it represents a departure from the series of extensions and years of delay that plagued the last few reauthorization cycles.  The strong show of bipartisanship from the committee is also encouraging, as this is the first step toward enacting a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill.

ARTBA sent a letter in support of advancing ATIA and ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer offered his praise of the markup in a statement.

View ARTBA’s preliminary analysis of the legislation and see Sen. Barrasso’s full statement on ATIA here.